The Law Students’ Debating Society of Ireland

Established in 1830, the Law Students’ Debating Society of Ireland (LSDSI) is a student–run organisation that benefits from considerable support from King’s Inns. 

In recent years the LSDSI has acted as a student society within King’s Inns having evolved in its role from a debating society to become a society that represents all facets of student life at King’s Inns.

Current Auditor

Each year the student body elects an Auditor who assembles a committee with specific positions designated to oversee mooting, social activities, education and sports. The Auditor, as well as convening committee meetings, hosts an Inaugural Address each year which is normally chaired by a judge of the Supreme Court.

Committee 2020 – 2021 [191st Session]

Auditor: Neasa O’Callaghan 




Social Secretaries: 

Events Officers: 

Sports Officers: 

Committee members: 


BL Full Time Representative: 

BL Modular 1 Representative: 

BL Modular 2 Representative: 

Diploma 1 Representative: 

Diploma 2 Representative: 


Mooting & Debating

The day–to–day activities of the society include the organisation of a number of in–house competitions and debates throughout the academic year. These events are judged by members of the judiciary and the Bar. A number of debating competitions are run within King’s Inns including the Maidens, McCarthy Impromptu Memorial Moot and the Intervarsities. Workshops are held to support those participating. Like debating, mooting is actively encouraged and the in–house competitions include the Maidens as well as the Brian Walsh Memorial Moot. Mooters of all levels are therefore encouraged.

In support of the society’s activities in mooting and debating King’s Inns engages the services of junior practitioners (usually past winners) to coach those participating in external competitions.

The Maidens’ Moot is specifically aimed at inexperienced mooters. The Applicants and Respondents have six minutes to present their arguments and then each side has two minutes for rebuttal. Participants are provided with feedback on their performance.

The Brian Walsh Memorial Moot is the major in–house mooting competition and is held in memory of the late Mr. Justice Brian Walsh, a judge of the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. This moot, though an in–house moot, takes place in the Four Courts and is presided over by three judges from the superior courts.

The Eoin Higgins Memorial Moot is held between students of King’s Inns and the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University (hosted in alternate years by King’s Inns) and is judged by members of the judiciary from Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. There is a dedicated coach available to participants.

Philip C Jessup International Moot Court is considered to be the most prestigious international mooting competition in the world. Leading international lawyers set the question and the final stage of the moot takes place in Washington DC with, in the region of, 120 countries taking part each year. King’s Inns has represented Ireland on a number of occasions in this competition. King’s Inns arranges for a coach to be available to participants in this competition.

The Telders International Moot Competition has become the most prestigious in European moot competitions. Each year teams from over 40 universities/colleges compete in the national rounds with the successful teams going on to represent their countries at the Peace Palace in The Hague. There is a dedicated coach provided by King’s Inns for participants in this competition.

The first annual International Negotiation Competition was established in 1988. Students work in two person teams to research a problem, design a negotiation strategy, adapt it to the personalities of their opponents and finally critically evaluate their own performance.

National rounds take place. The final takes place in one of the participating countries which are drawn from around the world. A dedicated coach is available for participants in this competition.

Maidens Debating Competition is an in–house competition for individual speakers. No prior experience is required and coaching workshops are organized for those participating.

Intervarsities competitions are held in an impromptu debating format. Students find the fact that they are guaranteed at least five debates in the preliminary stages a valuable learning experience.

The Irish Times Debate is one of the best–known debating competitions in the country. It is held in its own unique format, which combines both a team and an individual competition. Participants enter the competition in teams of two with initial entrants usually over 150 teams being whittled down to four teams and four individuals. King’s Inns students participate each year and have won the competition on a number of occasions.


With nearly 400 students at any one time in King’s Inns, opportunities for team sports abound in the King’s Inns. Expressing an interest early on in the academic year is crucial to ensure the LSDSI has maximum notice to co–ordinate activities. Email if you are interested in the team sports supported by King’s Inns.


Records reveal that King’s Inns has produced many fine hurlers, including Jack Lynch, a former Taoiseach. However, it never had a hurling club. In October 2005, the Society was asked to support such an endeavour. There was certain reluctance to this as the Society was conscious of the difficulties that would be faced in fielding a team of 15 from a small student body. The challenges were enormous – no playing grounds, no playing gear and no budget. However the founders managed to get the notice of the Gaelic Athletic Association at a most senior level and had the rules changed so that they could enlist devils. They then approached the President of the High Court, the Hon. Mr. Justice Finnegan, to be their President. Support at that level spurred them on and they secured sponsorship from a number of organisations including the Society itself.

During October to December 2005 they trained hard, played a few “friendlies” and succeeded in qualifying for the Fergal Maher Cup. These rounds brought them to Belfast, Dublin and finally to Cork where they won the championship in 2006.


Tag Rugby

Tag Rugby is a new and exciting form of rugby that can be played by people of all ages and abilities. As well as being the fastest growing recreational sport in Ireland, Tag Rugby is fun, sociable and has mass appeal to both males and females aged between 20 and…. Well, how old would you say a King’s Inns student is?

Tag Rugby is a 7–a–side (12 on a squad) non–contact sport played on a grass pitch, roughly half the size of a normal rugby pitch. The aim is to score a try without being “tagged” by an opponent. The referee calls a “tag” if one of two Velcro strips attached to special tag shorts is grabbed by an opposing player. The sport is primarily about running and passing, and therefore complements a whole range of other sports. Agility, speed and good hand–eye co–ordination are more important skills than brute force and strength. An estimated 48% of Irish tag rugby participants have never played rugby union before.

Tag rugby is a great way to keep fit, meet people from other classes in college and turn out in the King’s Inns colours on a successful team! Email if you are interested in taking part.